Condensing Your Carry-On


We're halfway through the summer (in Austin, at least), but there are still so many trips planned!  My husband and I took a big family trip to Hawaii recently, and we flew United Airlines rather than our beloved Southwest, so we were forced to pack carry-ons (ain't nobody got money to pay $100 round trip to check bags).  This meant that, for an 7-day trip, I had to get super creative with packing.  

Packing for a long trip can be such a challenge, but, fortunately, it's summertime.  Summer outfits take up so much less space than sweaters, so it's definitely doable.  On top of that, investing in luggage organizers to maximize your space can really be worth it.  On my way home from work the night that I started packing, I made a pitstop at The Container Store (who happened to be having a sale) to pick up a few things.  Here's how I made it work. 

Plan Your Outfits

Before you start to load anything into your suitcase, plan out all of your outfits.  Try to coordinate your color schemes so you can pack less accessories and shoes.  If you have 1 pair of shoes that will work for 3 outfits, you're on the right track.  Keep in mind that overpacking is a waste of time (unnecessary outfit planning) and a waste of space (luggage space and space in your hotel room).  If you're going to the beach, do you really need that many outfits? Swimsuits usually work best there. Don't pack it unless you truly think you'll wear it.  It's also worth investigating to see if your destination has a place for you to wash clothes (ours did!).  

Packing Cubes

I got the set of Eagle Creek Pack-It Cubes which comes with three different sizes.  I used the smallest size to pack all of my underwear and socks.  The medium size cube was perfect for workout clothes and pajamas.  Tip: When putting clothing in the cubes, you are able to maximize your space by rolling each piece of clothing rather than folding them.  The largest size is actually where I kept my hair tools and accessories.  Using the packing cubes helped condense space, and they also made it way easier to find things as I got ready each morning.

Product/Makeup Organizer

I also purchased a Hanging Weekender bag for this trip.  I have plenty of little bags that fit my makeup, but I wanted something that would fit skincare products and makeup brushes as well since I use it all at the same time.  I loved that this one had a hook at the top, because I was able to hang it on the towel hook on the back of the bathroom door and save counter space.  


Investing in solid luggage is a must for anyone that travels.  My rolling duffel was given to me as a gift, and I love it for so many reasons.  It comes in different colors, so I chose bright green. While this might be a bit obnoxious, it makes it so much easier to find if I do happen to check it or even when it's in an overhead bin in another part of the plane.  It has multiple pockets and compartments, so this helps keep things extra organized.  It's small enough to be a carry-on, but it also expands quite a bit if you really need to stuff it.   

Going on a trip soon?  I'd love to hear your tips on how you pack efficiently!